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September 25, 2003

People of the Times

Rosanna Gartley, coordinator of recruitment at the School of Nursing, will take the oath of American citizenship next month — and simultaneously surprise her American-born husband.

Gartley was raised on the prairies in Saskatchewan, Canada. She earned her B.S.N. from the University of Saskatchewan and an M.H.S. (master of health services) from Athabasca, Alberta.

She married, had four children and was working as a nurse and nurse educator in Canada when her first husband died in a 1998 plane crash.

Gartley met her second husband, John Gartley, in an Internet chatroom. John, a senior technologist at Alcoa, was a widower also with four children. The couple married in 1999.

Gartley finished her prerequisites for U.S. citizenship and took the final oral exam on Sept. 11. “I was honored to take this exam [Sept. 11], a date that has such deep meaning for the people of America,” Gartley said. “I am thrilled about becoming an American citizen and look forward to contributing as a voter and in many other ways.”

As for her husband, “He still doesn’t know anything about this,” she said. “I plan to send him an invitation for when I take the oath of citizenship and that’s when he’ll find out.” Jean Blachere, associate professor emeritus who developed the ceramics curriculum at the engineering school’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, will be honored Oct.

24 as a leader in the ceramics field by the Pittsburgh section of the American Ceramics Society. Blachere was be presented with the 55th annual Albert Victor Bleininger Memorial Award, which recognizes excellence and lifelong achievement in the field of ceramics.

When Blachere came to Pitt in 1968, he was the only ceramicist in the School of Engineering and taught all the ceramics courses. He retired in 2000, but continues to mentor engineering graduate students.

The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) recently honored Vernell A. Lillie, an associate professor in the Department of Africana Studies, with its 2003 Career Achievement in Education Award.

ATHE is a national organization of individuals and institutions that provides vision and leadership in theatre education while promoting excellence in the profession. Included among its 1,800 members are post-secondary faculty in theatre and related fields, graduate students, and theatre and performance artists in universities, commercial venues and community-based and alternative theatres. Organizational members include theatre departments at colleges and universities, training conservatories and many theatres.

Lillie founded Kuntu Repertory Theatre in 1974 and continues to serve as its artistic director. She is a board member of City Theatre Community Media and a consultant for Black Theatre Network.

ATHE actively supports scholarship through teaching, research and practice and serves as a collective voice for its mission through its publications, conferences, advocacy, projects and collaborative efforts with other organizations.

A team of three math professors from Pitt’s Bradford campus was one of 12 selected teams from across the United States to take part in a summer workshop that was held on-line at Duke University.

Richard Melka, professor of mathematics and chair of the mathematics, computer science and engineering department; Yong-Zhuo Chen, professor of mathematics, and Marius Buliga, assistant professor of mathematics, took part in the workshop, Authoring Online Interactive Materials in Mathematics. The workshop was held July 14-18, and was organized by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

The workshop was intended for participants who have a basic knowledge of web page construction and wish to create interactive, on-line learning materials for mathematics. Each team received a $600 grant as well as communication software.

The MAA is a professional society that focuses on undergraduate education in the field of mathematics. It publishes monthly journals.

The Pitt-Bradford team’s project was titled Implicit Differentiation and Orthogonal Trajectories.

According to Melka, implicit differentiation is an important concept and calculation in calculus and often is used in orthogonal trajectories, that is geometric and visual application in differential equations.

The interactive lessons designed by the team were intended to help math students with complex computations and graphing. “Students will be able to check certain computations they have done the usual way and visualize their geometric interpretations,” Melka said. Ann Dugan, executive director of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the Katz Graduate School of Business, delivered the keynote address Sept. 16 at the Economic Development Association of Scotland (EDAS) conference in Glasgow.

Dugan highlighted the development and impact of the Katz institute on the western Pennsylvania entrepreneurial sector and focused on the importance of a robust connection between economic development and local university resources and innovations.

The EDAS conference annually draws economic development professionals and members of the business and academic community from throughout the United Kingdom.

The Johnstown campus has named Lisa A. Hunter assistant registrar.
Hunter earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1990 from UPJ. She came to UPJ from Kuchera Defense Systems, Inc., where she served as materials control leader.
Hunter reports to the registrar and assists with all aspects of managing the Office of the Registrar, maintains student academic records, evaluates transfer credits, advises students on transfer issues, performs degree audits, completes certifications and conducts registration.

The Pitt Department of Theatre Arts hosted a conference, Towards a Modern Japanese Theatre Revisited, Sept. 18-20 to honor J. Thomas Rimer, Pitt professor of East Asian languages and literatures and of theatre arts, as well as a pioneer in the field of Japanese theatre.

He also is author of the book, “Towards a Modern Japanese Theatre.”
Rimer has translated or authored a number of major publications and more than 40 articles and essays. He was the recipient of the 1999 Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award as well as the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Consul General of Japan.

Rimer also has taught at the University of Maryland and Washington University. In addition to plenary sessions and roundtable discussions with some of the foremost scholars in the field, the conference included a performance by the internationally acclaimed multimedia art collective Nibroll from Tokyo at Pitt’s Charity Randall Theatre.

School of Social Work recently retired associate professor Grady H. Roberts Jr. was honored this week as a community hero by the United Cerebral Palsy of Pittsburgh (UCP) Foundation.

Roberts was among six honorees recognized for helping make the UCP’s mission a reality for people with disabilities. He received the Gertrude Labowitz Lifetime Achievement Award.

Former social work Dean David E. Epperson presented Roberts at the Sept. 24 awards dinner. The Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association will present Jeffrey Guterman with the PBAA 2003 Teaching Excellence Award and alumnus David Higie with the Distinguished Volunteer Award.

Guterman, an associate professor of communications, and Higie, who attended Pitt-Bradford 1974-76, will be honored at an alumni reception and dinner Oct. 4.

The PBAA Teaching Excellence Award annually recognizes a member of the Pitt-Bradford faculty who has exemplified established educational principles, shown dedication in teaching their students and excelled in their area of specialty.

Guterman, who has been teaching at Pitt-Bradford since 1985 and is chair of the Department of Communication Arts, was acknowledged for his commitment to UPB, involvement in campus activities and continued pursuit of external professional interests.

Guterman came to Pitt-Bradford from State University of New York at Cortland to start the communications program.

Guterman earned a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies (communications, journalism and education) and a bachelor’s degree in communications, both from Oregon State University.

The PBAA Distinguished Volunteer Award annually recognizes individuals who have enriched the campus and the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association through their volunteer efforts.

Higie is the alumni association’s outgoing president.

Higie has been the director of corporate communications for the Michael Baker Corp. since 1996. He began his career in public affairs in 1981 when he joined USX Corp. He transferred to the governmental affairs office in Washington, D.C., in 1986.
In 1989, he moved to Aristech Chemical Corp. and became director of public affairs in 1990.
After spending two years at Pitt-Bradford, Higie went to Penn State University, where he graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s in political science. He earned a master’s degree in public relations/communications in 1981 from Boston University.

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